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Asia-Planet  >  Mongolia  >  Mongolia Tours  >  12 days Ride in the Gobi Steppe

12 days Ride in the Gobi Steppe
Itinerary (Ulaanbaatar - Southern Töv - Saran Tolgoy - Elsen Hudag - Uushig - Baga Zorgol Hairhan Uul - Ikh Zorgol Khairkhan Uul - Arburd Sands - Bogd Uul National Park - Ulaanbaatar)

A horseback journey across the Mongolian steppe land is an experience not available elsewhere on Earth. Steppe habitats once made up 25 percent of the global land area. Today the Pampas, the puszta, the Prairies and the Ukraine have largely been developed for agricultural output. Only the Mongolian steppes have survived. The high elevation of Mongolia creates unusually clear air - all the year round. It is an overwhelming visual experience of emptiness and vastness to ride across the completely silent treeless steppes. Stretching away into the distance: no trace of human activity except for the pastoralist´s - themselves and their herds.

The bus will take us out of Ulaanbaatar to the south, across the Bogdkhan mountain, and some 120-150 km over the treeless steppes until finding a family of famous horsebreeders and their gers. We will select some good riding horses among the hundreds available, saddle up, and ride until the steppes start to give way for the Gobi sands. Our gear will be loaded upon traditional wooden carts, used by the locals. Bactrian Camels will be tied to the carts.

Joint tour : Departure from Ulaanbaatar,

Day  1
Ulaanbaatar (-/-/Diner)
Arrive in the Mongolian capital and transfer to the hotel. Tour briefing after dinner.

Day  2
Ulaanbaatar - Southern Töv (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
A.m. Drive south across and continue across the steppes to a place in the middle of nowhere called Holboo. Pitch camp by horsebreeding nomads. Selection of horses. Horseriding briefing and try riding. Overnight in tents.

Day  3
Southern Töv - Saran Tolgoy (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Today we will start our ride across the steppes for 20km. Gobi high altitude fauna such as Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon) are present in the hills and rocks, and possible to be seen during this day. Moreover small herds of Gazelle may be seen on the steppes, and maybe some wolves.

Day  4
Saran Tolgoy - Elsen Hudag (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Full day of 20-25km ride across the steppes to the smaller sands at Manhan. It is a small sand dune that visibly have cut its way through the steppe, as it have been moving itself, so pushed by strong winds, towards the east. We continue the ride to Elsen Hudag. Hudag is well in Mongolian and this area usually has many nomadic families in its immediate vicinity.

Day  5
Elsen Hudag - Uushig (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Our ride now continue across the steppes. We ride to the uninhabited area of Uushig, where there is a small spring, and some spectacular rock formations. Among the rock formations it is even more likely to spot Argali Sheep. Our campsite is with the rocks as a back drop and potentially bring us “Flaming Cliffs” at sunset.

Day  6
Uushig - Baga Zorgol Hairhan Uul (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Continue riding east, passing a small Gobi lake, Hariin Nuur with perhaps some interesting birds. The distance is 25 km to the smaller – but still giant – Baga Zorgol Hairhan Mountains and rock formations. The lakes act as “islands” for waterfowl flying across a “sea of grass”. Pitch camp here and scan the ridges of this spectacular rock wall for Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica).

Day  7
Baga Zorgol Hairhan Uul - Ikh Zorgol Hairhan Uul (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
The Gobi steppes are in this area quite variable since we ride through the transition zone of the Gobi, meaning there are true steppes, semi arid steppes, sand dunes and also giant rock formations. Today we will ride for 25-30 km across populated steppes and for the full day we can see the Zorgol Hairhan giant rock formations in the distance. They are several hundred meters high, and have dramatic features in the middle of the steppes.

Day  8
Ikh Zorgol Khairkhan Uul (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
We will spend two nights camping in this dramatic landscape, and make a day trip around the area. Here is the second opportunity to possibly view the elusive Argali Sheep, the largest wild sheep in the world.

Day  9
Ikh Zorgol Khairkhan Uul - Arburd Sands (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
A full day ride, for 25-30km towards Arburd Sands. Today we will pass several nomadic herdsmen families. The human features of this open and vast landscape are perhaps the most interesting, since all families in the zone, are nomadic herdsmen. In the summer they move with their herds in search of green pastures. Our hosts in the area are themselves keen horse-breeders, and compete in the different Naadam competitions.

The Mongolian equestrian tradition is a living cultural heritage since the time of the Huns and Genghis Khan. Still today, the Mongols allow their horses to roam freely in a semi-wild condition. In harem groups with a stallion. There are no fences or any stables. They fend for themselves and forage what they can throughout the harsh winter period, and they also successfully defend their foals against the numerous wolfs. Overnight at Arburd Sands Ger Camp.

Day 10
Arburd Sands (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
The ride today is a short one, but it cuts through the Arburd Sands, a giant 20km long sand dune, which is a hideout for numerous wolfs. Our camel carts will make their way around the dunes, while we will be riding right through, providing for Sahara like landscapes. We will make a loop and come back to Arburd Sands Ger Camp.

Day 11
Arburd Sands - Bogd Uul National Park - Ulaanbaatar (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Drive back for half a day to Ulaanbaatar. At lunchtime we will break the journey near Zuunmod, and enter Bogd Khan Mountain, a forested mountain area due south of Ulaanbaatar. Here are the Manzhir monastery ruins and good chances of seeing Red Deer (Cervus elaphus). The drive from Manzhir to Ulaanbaatar is thereafter only one hour. Check in to the hotel,

Day 12
Ulaanbaatar (Breakfast/-/-)
Transfer to the airport, railway station, or your next Mongolian destination


JOINT TOUR (Minimum 2 persons. Price per person in sharing twin / double room)

Standard / First - -
Validity: Our package tour rates are valid from June 1st 2016 to September 30th 2016 Contact us to get more info about this tour Book now !
Leadership, breakfast every day, and all meals outside Ulaanbaatar. All overnights in hotels in shared double (2n.), gers (2n.) and tents (7n.). Camping equipment and all local transport
Drinks and laundry. Lunch and dinner in Ulaanbaatar. Air or train tickets in and out of Mongolia. Visa fee. Hotel nights in Ulaanbaatar
Note :
Price ( 2/10 members )

Reversal of trip: Trips may be done in the reverse for operational reasons.
Single room/tent/ger supplement : USD 40 per night
Additional night in Ulaanbaatar: USD 140 per single room., USD 175 per double room
Private trip supplement: USD 400 per person

DATES ex Ulaanbaatar: 2013
GSR01: 22Jun-03Jul (Sa/We)
GSR02: 11-22Jul (Th/Mo) Naadam ext
GSR03: 29Jul-09Aug (Mo/Fr)
GSR04: 23Aug-02Sep (Fr/Mo)
GSR05: 03-14Sep (Tu/Sa)
Note : We have introduced a concept of practical and desirable ways of travel in Mongolia, which is the synergy of Western and Mongolian ideas brought about after many years experience of travel all across Mongolia. We emphasize the quality of human contacts and encounters with local people. Respect for the horse and local equestrian traditions, from which many lessons can be learnt. Shared adventures, living with horses, yaks and camels in the great outdoors, choosing the life of the nomad. An active holiday calling for some effort but with moments of complete relaxation and pleasure.

Transport: Mongolian families frequently move from one pasture to the other using wooden traditional carts.These are tied to the animals available in the region.Here we will use camels and/or horses.

Staff : A Mongolian English speaking Mongol guide will accompany the group at all times. A cook will follow, with an assistant. In addition, the services of the local herdsmen will be hired along with their animals. The horsemen will come from Batbadrakh's family. They follow a traditional lifestyle in the areas where we will be riding.

Meals: The meals will be prepared by our cook.We pride ourselves in having cooks adapt with western, vegetarian and Mongolian cooking on our trips. For breakfast we can usually buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen in the local area.

Minimum riding ability: Competent rider. Fit and capable of riding at all paces confidently.Varying terrain, in the saddle for several hours on most days.
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